No decision in English football is scrutinised more than the national team squad announcement ahead of a major tournament.
With a little over four months to go, Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate will soon be putting the finishing touches to his plans for the 2024 European Championship in Germany. While the likes of Jordan Pickford, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane are automatic picks, there are countless players whose prospects of boarding the plane are less clear-cut.
Within that category is Manchester United youngster Kobbie Mainoo. Despite only being 1 and still in pursuit of his first senior cap for England, an increasing number of Three Lions supporters - particularly those of a United persuasion - believe he should be on the plane to Germany.
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Though he has only made 16 first-team appearances for United, you would not have thought so based on his recent performances. He has excelled alongside Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro in what has become the Reds' strongest midfield in recent weeks.
The return of Casemiro has allowed Mainoo to raise his game even further. In the Brazilian's absence, the United academy graduate was acting as the sole anchor at the base of the midfield, whereas now he is being allowed to get forward that little bit more and express himself.
Though Mainoo, who scored his first Premier League goal in dramatic fashion at Molineux a little over a week ago, has demonstrated he is capable as operating as a No.6, controlling possession from deep and then moving the ball on to more advanced midfield operators, he is a modern-dayRead on manchestereveningnews.co.uk